This week: Orca Bio and Lyell Immunopharma (both CA, USA) partner to develop T cell therapies for solid tumors, Cartesian Therapeutics (MD, USA) initiates clinical trials of RNA-engineered MSC therapy for ARDS, AMSBIO expands its range of clinical grade cryopreservation solutions and Atelerix (Cambridge, UK) receives funding from Innovate UK to develop transport and storage solutions for cellular therapies at room temperature.
The news highlights:
- Partnership established to develop cell therapies for solid tumors
- First RNA-engineered cell therapy for ARDS and COVID-19 makes it to clinical trials
- AMSBIO expands range of clinical grade cryopreservation excipient solutions
- Innovate UK grants funding to support room temperature solutions for storing and transporting cellular therapies
Orca Bio and Lyell Immunopharma (both CA, USA) have announced a research partnership to jointly develop next generation T cell therapies for patients with solid tumors. The alliance will combine the purification T cell technologies from Orca Bio with the Lyell’s expertise in T cell biology to generate potentially synergistic therapeutic solutions for solid cancers.
Ivan Dimov, co-founder and CEO of Orca Bio commented: “By combining our scientific expertise with that of Lyell Immunopharma, and by applying our specialized manufacturing platform, we aim to create the scalable production of adoptive T cell therapies that can reach patients with unprecedented speed.”
Cartesian Therapeutics (MD, USA) has initiated a Phase I/II clinical trial of its lead RNA-engineered MSC therapy, Descartes-30, in patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), a condition that can be caused by COVID-19. This is the first therapy of its type to be developed for ARDS, and the first to degrade NETs – webs of extracellular DNA and histones that drive the pathogenesis of ARDS and COVID-19.
Bruce Levy, Chief of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (MA, USA) commented: “If successful, Descartes-30 would be a highly differentiated game-changer within our limited toolkit in managing this exceedingly difficult condition.”
AMSBIO has announced new additions and certifications for its range of clinical grade cryopreservation excipient solutions, STEM-CELLBANKER® and HSC-BANKER®. STEM-CELLBANKER® is a freezing media optimized for stem cells and iPS cell storage, as well as primary cells, and is available in both DMSO-containing and DMSO-free formulations. HSC-BANKER® is suitable for storage of hematopoietic stem cells developed for cell therapy applications. Both products are finding widespread use in the clinical application of cell therapy products.
Innovate UK grants funding to support room temperature solutions for storing and transporting cellular therapies
Atelerix (Cambridge, UK) has received an award from Innovate UK to enable the transport and storage of cellular therapies at room temperature. This forms part of the company’s ‘BloodReady’ project, which will explore scalable methods of cell preservation, transport and re-presentation for patient administration to offer cell therapy developers and manufacturers flexibility in workflows, while eliminating the need for expedited shipments of frozen packages.
Mick McLean, CEO of Atelerix commented: “Cellular therapies offer the possibility of treatments for diseases and conditions that cannot be approached by conventional drugs. New capabilities enabling storage and transport of therapeutic cells are vital if these life-saving treatments are to be made widely available to many more patients. Atelerix’s ground-breaking technology eliminates the need for complex cryoshipping logistics and potentially harmful freeze-thaw processes, offering greater flexibility, convenience and security as critical samples are shipped around the world.”